Though Eddy certainly enjoyed farm life, he knew that he wouldn’t follow in his farmer father’s footsteps. Fortunately for him, his parents didn’t have that expectation, on the contrary: ‘They did everything to make sure I could go to university, something I am truly grateful for.’ 

‘Living on a farm in rural Drenthe meant most of my childhood days were spent outside with the animals. I loved being in nature, climbing trees, building tree houses and playing with friends. I’d come home from school, drop off my bag and immediately run outside to play, until my mom would call us because dinner was ready.’ 

‘Among many things, my parents taught my siblings and me to be independent from an early age. Do what you want to do, discover what you wish to discover, don’t wait for others: they gave us the space we needed to explore the world and ourselves. I am very happy they did; it’s something I hope to pass on to my own children, too. But, then again, if I see the trees they let me climb when I was younger… I would never allow my kids to climb that high up. Looking back, I think my parents just trusted us and thought it was important for us to discover things on our own, knowing we’d be fine if they didn’t coddle us.’  

The C-section that Changed It All

‘As much as I loved playing on the farm, I didn’t picture myself in my father’s shoes one day. Instead, I dreamt of being a pilot. That dream was shattered when I was rejected after a few tests at the Air Force. Shortly after that, I got to assist a veterinarian performing a C-section on a cow at our farm. I was fascinated and decided there and then I was going to become a veterinarian. In high school, I studied long and hard to ensure I got the best marks, which would increase my chances of being accepted to study Veterinary Science. Unfortunately, despite my high marks, I didn’t get it; I was gutted. So, I decided to study Mathematics, which I genuinely enjoyed, to become a more suitable candidate for vet school.’

‘A year into my studies, I decided to finish what I started, and leave the idea of becoming a veterinarian behind me. Solving mathematical puzzles and equations turned out to be something I enjoyed greatly, even more so when I was introduced to computers and programming. So, as it turned out, I really excelled in Applied Mathematics. Even though throughout my studies I often wondered what I was going to do and become with all this? Still, I kept going, and eventually graduated in 1996.’

A Whole New Look at Technology

‘Just before graduating, I got my first real job as a junior IT consultant at Origin, which is now Atos. One of the things about the company that appealed to me greatly was their focus on the human side of IT. They placed great emphasis on the notion that IT is much more than just technology. According to them, human beings should be at the core: start with the person in mind, and follow that with means and tools to complement them. This changed my whole perception of technology. During my studies, the focus had only always been on technology, and it wasn’t until that change in outlook that I discovered a different side of technology and that people had created theories and methods that related to the so-called “softer” side of technology. This sparked my realization that I needed to work in an environment where these two factors co-exist in perfect harmony.’

‘Accenture exemplifies this, and it was obviously one of the primary reasons why I was drawn to the company. When I applied in 2006, I was under the impression that Accenture was an extremely high-performance company and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up. On the other hand, I was very eager to work for an organization where I could learn so much about technology and more about people and how to best utilize their talents. I realized that Accenture would be a great place to learn and further develop myself, both personally and professionally.’

DNA of Your Skill Set

‘What are you doing? Are you happy doing what you are doing? What are your strengths? I love how Accenture recently introduced the StrengthsFinder: a tool to determine the DNA of your personal strengths and skill set. A decade or so ago, the perception of a consultant was far more one-dimensional: this is what a consultant does and how he or she acts - just accept it. Of course, it wasn’t as black-and-white as that, but it surely wasn’t as open to the number of perceptions as it is today. I love how Accenture acknowledges that and works towards prioritizing the human element of the company. We’re not there yet, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.’

"At Accenture, if you come up with a plan, it’s virtually always possible to execute it"

‘I have been at Accenture for twelve years now, and I still thoroughly enjoy it. The organization has an incredible team spirit: there is always someone who is willing to help or offer valuable advice. But, above all, it is the commitment to excellence that defines Accenture; our clients will always receive the best outcome. The company and its employees are continuously evolving. Lastly, I love the fact that there is always room for personal development. If you come up with a plan, it’s virtually always possible to execute it.’

My Job Is Done

‘My personal strength can also be found in the ‘offering room to grow’ department. Telling people what to do is not my forte, nor something I think is necessarily beneficial for anyone. Rather, I give people plenty of room to make their own decisions. Obviously, I am always available for help or coaching wherever and whenever needed, but I am a firm believer of giving people the freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions. It’s very satisfying when it pays off: when I see people making progress - small steps at a time, until they have reached the point of doing things better than I ever could. Eventually, my role becomes redundant, because the team can fully function on its own - then my job is done.’

Image: Eddy Rotmensen - Accenture Portrait

‘If I were to highlight two of my defining characteristics, I would say that I am team player - I am always learning and looking for ways to improve myself and my team. Secondly, I am intuitive - I trust my gut feeling, even if someone else presents a strong case for an opposing opinion. Through extensive coaching session, I have learned not to hesitate when it comes to trusting my instincts. At the end of the day, my feeling has often proved to be right, and eliminating the fear of expressing my feelings has really helped me a lot.’

Me-time

‘Indulging in a bit of me-time is also important. When I was younger, I used to be very musical, but having children and a full-time job meant having less time for my hobby. 

But when my oldest son started playing in a school band and I heard about a so-called ‘parents band’, my interest was piqued, and I was keen to explore the idea of joining.  Learning how to play an instrument is way too time-consuming, so I opted to sing instead. Initially, I was convinced that is sounded horrible, but after some time and a lot of practice, it all started coming together quite nicely. My wife Anouk comes to our performances quite often and she says we're pretty good - I’ll just take her word for it, I guess.’ 

‘I dream of living in a sustainable, more equal world. In the Western world, we are extremely privileged - simply by being born where we are. If we came into this world 5,000 kilometers from here, life would probably be very different . We all use so much more than we deserve, and we all seem to think that’s normal, yet we hardly realize it could have just as well been us in those rubber boats. I strive for a more honest and equal world, in which everybody has a fair chance to succeed.’

Striving for a Better World

"We want to create awareness around the Earth, and how we should all contribute to a better, more sustainable and more honest world"

‘Anouk and I try to relay that message across to our children, too. As a family, we’re currently to embrace vegetarianism. We have been eating less meat over the last few years, but we want to see if we can cut it out of our diet completely. Of course, we also have a conversation with our children regarding why it is important to do so and what impact eating meat has on the planet. More than anything, we want to create awareness around the Earth, and how we should all contribute to a better, more sustainable and more honest world.’ 

‘Our dream is to, one day, live in a house in the Italian mountains. As a family, living off the grid, doing something completely different like renting out holiday homes, or simply spending our days skiing or doing other sports. We want to be outside, together, and just live. We don’t need much: a roof over our heads, fresh air and enough money to live relatively comfortably, but it can all be quite minimalistic, actually. Realizing this dream also partly has to do with the fact that Anouk is highly sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, which clearly is everywhere these days. If it was up to her, we’d leave tomorrow. However, for now, it’s still a dream, but the chance that one day we will move back the quiet, Eastern part of the country - back to my roots - definitely exists. Let’s call it “a meet-in-the-middle” solution.’  

Image: Eddy Rotmensen - Accenture Portrait

Eddy Rotmensen (1973)

Studied: MSc Applied Mathematics, University of Twente (1996)

Started working at Accenture: January 2006

Relationship status: Together with Anouk, father to Mats (11), Vico (8) and Lenthe (6)

Loves: Nature, mountains and snow

Gets annoyed by: People who give me too little space or feel the need to think on my behalf 

Favorite food: Italian

On my nightstand: Nothing

Listens to: Various, depending on the mood and the moment - anything from dance, jazz to classical music

Last purchase: DIY parts. I love DIY-ing; I recently constructed a desk for the children

Would like to sit next to in the plane: Barack Obama

Life-changing event: The birth of my three children, and numerous events taking place in their lives - happy, sad and ‘scary’ moments

The best lesson life has taught me: Carve out your own path and ensure you follow it  

What I learned last week: Always trust your instincts and express your feelings

Most beautiful place on earth: Piemonte Mountains, Italy 

Hobbies/passions: Sports, making music, DIY

What nobody knows about me: That I sing in a band

Life motto: Give life your all; you could move mountains

Who are the people behind Accenture? What drives Ingrid Tappin and inspires her on a daily basis? How have Dionysia Polymenakou's life, career, ambitions and dreams developed over the years? What difficult choices has Marissa Jaggan made in his life? Through a series of portraits, we answer these questions and introduce you to our people: those who make Accenture the thriving company that it is.